Monday, August 10, 2020

Help a SurLaLuner: Finding a Fairy Tale: Husband Forgets Underwater Wife


Hello to the collective memories of SurLaLuners!

I've received this request for help in identifying a fairy tale. While the theme of heros/heroines forgetting their spouses/lovers is a fairly common theme in folklore, this one is not specifically coming to mind. Do the details for this tale bring a particular tale to mind for anyone, especially the underwater kingdom element to it?

It involves a man who travels to an underwater kingdom and marries a princess he meets there. He then wants to return to his home to see his parents, and when he does, he forgets all about his wife and his life in the magical land. Does that ring a bell?

Despite my inability to find the story, I suspect it's a common theme. Any fairy tale at all about spending time in a magical kingdom, then losing all memory of it when the hero returns home would work for the book. Do you know of any stories like this?

I have read many tales where forgotten spouses are a theme. But since they are forgotten, usually the spouse who has been forgotten is the hero of the tale since he/she seeks out the spouse with the forgotten memory--after all, the faulty memory has no reason to go searching since he/she doesn't remember there is something to remember! But I can't think of forgotten kingdoms so much myself.

Just leave your suggestions in the comments if the tale sounds familiar. Or feel free to share tales with similar themes--the requestor is looking for tales with the lost memory theme from what I understand although this is the particular one that stands out in his memory.



New Book: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown



A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown was released in June of this year. It is inspired by African folklore, but I don't know which tales specifically. There are many collections of African Folklore available in the SurLaLune Fairy Tales Database.

Book description:

An instant New York Times bestseller!

The first in a gripping fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction—from debut author Roseanne A. Brown. This New York Times bestseller is perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Renée Ahdieh, and Sabaa Tahir.

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts his younger sister, Nadia, as payment to enter the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a heart-pounding course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

"Magic creates a centuries-long divide between peoples in this stunning debut novel inspired by North African and West African folklore. An action-packed tale of injustice, magic, and romance, this novel immerses readers in a thrilling world and narrative reminiscent of Children of Blood and Bone." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")

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Saturday, August 8, 2020

New Book: The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning



A Saturday bonus post for a new book that I imagine will appeal to many readers here but doesn't have a direct folklore connection. The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning was released last month. And it is a retelling of The Princess Bride (the film and the novel by William Goldman).

Book description:

The Princess Will Save You is a YA fantasy adventure inspired by The Princess Bride, in which a princess must rescue her stable boy true love, from the acclaimed author of Sea Witch, Sarah Henning.

When a princess’s commoner true love is kidnapped to coerce her into a political marriage, she doesn’t give in―she goes to rescue him.

When her warrior father, King Sendoa, mysteriously dies, Princess Amarande of Ardenia is given what would hardly be considered a choice: Marry a stranger at sixteen or lose control of her family’s crown.

But Amarande was raised to be a warrior―not a sacrifice.

In an attempt to force her choice, a neighboring kingdom kidnaps her true love, stable boy Luca. With her kingdom on the brink of civil war and no one to trust, she’ll need all her skill to save him, her future, and her kingdom.

“Full of inconceivable wit, daring adventure, and cunning political machinations…It’s as if Sarah Henning looked into my soul that yearned for a book like The Princess Bride and said―as you wish. And yes, this is a kissing book.” ―Ashley Poston, author of Heart of Iron

“The Princess Will Save You is everything we love about YA fantasy, complete with first love, sweeping adventure, and a fierce heroine who holds her own. There’s something for everyone in this book.” ―Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of The Sky in the Deep

“An action-packed adventure with a fierce heroine that is sure to enthrall! Sarah Henning has created a fantasy narrative that weaves together love and betrayal, pirates and swordplay. Sure to please anyone who grew up loving tales of princesses.” ―Emily Lloyd-Jones, author of The Bone Houses

SurLaLune's Small Print:

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Friday, August 7, 2020

Newish Book: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig



House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig was released last year and is now available in paperback.  It's a retelling of Twelve Dancing Princesses which is catnip is for a lot of SurLaLune readers. It has a 3.95 rating on Goodreads.

Book description:

As one by one her beautiful sisters mysteriously die on their isolated island estate, Annaleigh must unravel the curse that haunts her family. Be careful who you dance with...

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last--the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge--and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sister's deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who--or what--are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family--before it claims her next. House of Salt and Sorrows is a spellbinding novel filled with magic and the rustle of gossamer skirts down long, dark hallways. Get ready to be swept away.

SurLaLune's Small Print:

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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Bargain Ebook: Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith TODAY ONLY



Bloodleaf (The Bloodleaf Trilogy Book 1) by Crystal Smith is on sale today ONLY for $2.99. It is the first in a trilogy with the second book due out in September. One of its reader reviewers says it draws strong inspiration from The Goose Girl, which is beloved by many SurLaLune readers and doesn't get retold as often. It is YA like most fantasy retellings are these days.

Book description:

A roar of a dark and luscious epic fantasy that’s layered with heady romance, bloodthirsty magic, and ghostly intrigue—an absolutely wicked delight.

Aurelia is a princess, but they call her a witch.

Surrounded by spirits and burdened with forbidden magic, she lives in constant fear of discovery by the witch-hunting Tribunal and their bloodthirsty mobs. When a devastating assassination attempt reveals her magical abilities, Aurelia is forced to flee her country with nothing but her life.

Alone and adrift in an enemy kingdom, Aurelia plans her revenge against the Tribunal, desperate to bring down the dark organization that has wrought terror upon her people for hundreds of years. But there's something deeply amiss in her new home, too, and soon she finds herself swept into a deadly new mystery with a secretive prince, the ghost of an ancient queen, and a poison vine called Bloodleaf.

Aurelia is entangled in a centuries-long game of love, power, and war, and if she can't break free before the Tribunal makes its last move, she may lose far more than her crown.

SurLaLune's Small Print:

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Newish Book: Through the Water Curtain by Cornelia Funke



Through the Water Curtain by Cornelia Funke was released last year and is an interesting concept that I myself wish happened a little more often, if not in book form, at least on authors' websites. Funke, is an internationally bestselling author of YA fantasy and draws inspiration from folklore. Her Reckless series has been shared here on the SurLaLune Blog and has strong influence from the Grimms and other fairy tale collections.

The reader reviews on this book have been mixed, primarily because of expectations, not what was in the description. The volume states clearly that the tales included were selected and introduced by Funke. She did not retell them or even edit them. They are reprints from many various sources. So the experience of reading these is as if she were reading them herself and finding story fodder from them. The introduction and glosses for each tale offer a glimpse into her interests and what fascinated her or captured her imagination as she read and pondered the stories. She also points out their flaws if viewed with modern sensibilities.

Her general introduction discusses the darkness of the tales she heard as a child, the censored and uncensored versions that were about. Interestingly enough, she remembers listening to tales more than reading them, an interesting dichotomy of literary tales that were drawn from the oral and returned to the oral where they best captured her attention. This book didn't seek to censor the tales from their original sources. They are offered as she found them. So they may have content that is questionable to some readers. They are best intended for advanced middle readers and up into adulthood.

As for me, the small collection is fascinating. It contains a few of my personal favorites, ones I have found are often favorites of authors and fairy tale fans, like "The Six Swans" and "Bluebeard." Those tales have inspired countless authors in modern fiction over the last two centuries, include Juliet Marillier for "The Six Swans" and Angela Carter and Kurt Vonnegut for "Bluebeard". Other tales are much lesser known like "Through the Water Curtain" and "The Areca Tree" so even if you are familiar with many tales, you may find a few that are new or at least not very familiar to you. All of the tales come from Europe and Asia, so the around the world description is really limited to two continents.

Book description:

A delightful, diverse selection of fairy tales from around the world by one of our most beloved children's writers.

International bestselling children's author Cornelia Funke has long been inspired and fascinated by fairy tales. This wonderful anthology is Funke's personal selection of fairy tales from all around the world - not just from her native Germany but from Russia, Japan and the Native American tradition. It's the perfect Christmas gift for any young reader wishing to discover the wider world of fairy tales.

This wonderful selection of 13 tales includes:

• The Tale of the Firebird (Russia)
• The Boy Who Drew Cats (Japan)
• The Frog Princess (Ukraine)
• The Six Swans (Germany)
• The Girl Who Gave a Knight a Kiss out of Necessity (Sweden)
• Kotura, Lord of the Winds (Siberia)

SurLaLune's Small Print:

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

New Book: 101 Middle Eastern Tales and Their Impact on Western Oral Tradition by Dr. Ulrich Marzolph



101 Middle Eastern Tales and Their Impact on Western Oral Tradition (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies) by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Marzolph will be released on August 18, 2020 and is available for pre-order.

Just to be clear, although this title may sound like it is a collection of folktale texts from the Middle East, it is not. The full tale texts are not included. There are many more than 101 individual tales discussed, too. The volume offers a discussion of the tales arranged by theme and motifs instead. I received a copy of this book for review and although I haven't read the entire thing--it is over 700 pages long including the appendices--it is a great reference book for discussion of various ATU (Aarne Thompson Uther) tale types that can be found in the Middle East. Each chapter is devoted to a different ATU tale type. For example, Chapter 2 is "Belling the Cat (ATU 110)" and Chapter 8 is "The Two Hunchbacks (ATU 503)", just two of the tales I am very familiar with in recent years as I have used them in SurLaLune Folklore anthology work. I found some new information to me in each of these chapters despite being very familiar with them since resources in English for these have been limited. This is a great way to learn more about several tale types (101 of them to be exact) you may be less familiar with. And, no, you don't need to be familiar with the ATU tale type system. This volume uses the system as a guide to organize, group and discuss many tales while providing primary and secondary resources to read more. The Works Cited list is a cornucopia of resources, too. Marzolph is one of the leaders in this area of folklore studies and his vast knowledge and experience shows. Overall, this is highly recommended and filled a gap in my extensive folklore library.

Book description:

Against the methodological backdrop of historical and comparative folk narrative research, 101 Middle Eastern Tales and Their Impact on Western Oral Tradition surveys the history, dissemination, and characteristics of over one hundred narratives transmitted to Western tradition from or by the Middle Eastern Muslim literatures (i.e., authored written works in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish). For a tale to be included, Ulrich Marzolph considered two criteria: that the tale originates from or at least was transmitted by a Middle Eastern source, and that it was recorded from a Western narrator's oral performance in the course of the nineteenth or twentieth century. The rationale behind these restrictive definitions is predicated on Marzolph's main concern with the long-lasting effect that some of the "Oriental" narratives exercised in Western popular tradition-those tales that have withstood the test of time.

Marzolph focuses on the originally "Oriental" tales that became part and parcel of modern Western oral tradition. Since antiquity, the "Orient" constitutes the quintessential Other vis-à-vis the European cultures. While delineation against this Other served to define and reassure the Self, the "Orient" also constituted a constant source of fascination, attraction, and inspiration. Through oral retellings, numerous tales from Muslim tradition became an integral part of European oral and written tradition in the form of learned treatises, medieval sermons, late medieval fabliaux, early modern chapbooks, contemporary magazines, and more. In present times, when national narcissisms often acquire the status of strongholds delineating the Us against the Other, it is imperative to distinguish, document, visualize, and discuss the extent to which the West is not only indebted to the Muslim world but also shares common features with Muslim narrative tradition. 101 Middle Eastern Tales and Their Impact on Western Oral Tradition is an important contribution to this debate and a vital work for scholars, students, and readers of folklore and fairy tales.

SurLaLune's Small Print:

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

New Book: Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Adaptations across Cultures



Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Adaptations across Cultures (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies) by Mayako Murai and Luciana Cardi is officially released on August 25, 2020. It is available for pre-order.

Book description:

Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Adaptations across Cultures seeks to "re-orient" the fairy tale across different cultures, media, and disciplines and proposes new approaches to the ever-expanding fairy-tale web in a global context with a special emphasis on non-Euro-American materials. Editors Mayako Murai and Luciana Cardi bring together emerging and established researchers in various disciplines from around the world to decenter existing cultural and methodological assumptions underlying fairy-tale studies and suggest new avenues into the increasingly complex world of fairy-tale cultures today.

Divided into three parts, the fourteen essays cover a range of materials from Hawaiian wonder tales to Japanese heroine tales to Spanish fairy-tale film adaptation. Chapters include an invitation from Cristina Bacchilega to explore the possibilities related to the uncanny processes of both disorientation and re-orientation taking place in the "journeys" of wonder tales across multiple media and cultures. Aleksandra Szugajew's chapter outlines the strategies adopted by recent Hollywood live-action fairy-tale films to attract adult audiences and reveals how this new genre offers a form of global entertainment and a forum that invites reflection on various social and cultural issues in today's globalizing world. Katsuhiko Suganuma draws on queer theory and popular musicology to analyze the fairy-tale intertexts in the works of the Japanese all-female band Princess Princess and demonstrate that popular music can be a medium through which the queer potential of ostensibly heteronormative traditional fairy tales may emerge. Daniela Kato's chapter explores the ecological dimensions of Carter's literary fairy tale and offers an ecofeminist interpretation of a fairy-tale forest as a borderland that lies beyond the nature-culture dichotomy.

Readers will find inspiration and new directions in the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches to fairy tales provided by Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale.

Reviews:

Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale represents a significant contribution to an emerging area of inquiry in which there is a great deal of intellectual interest. Since many of the themes explored are not treated comprehensively elsewhere, it will prove attractive to a readership seeking to understand cutting-edge developments in the field of study. The book is also socially and intellectually important in the challenges it makes to hierarchical and binaristic thinking and in its determination to revalue indigenous storytelling cultures that have been marginalized by neo-imperial global media.

– Andrew Teverson, author of The Fairy Tale World

In its Puckish way, this volume pleasantly disorients scholars who are familiar only with the path of Eurocentric concepts of fairy tales. In so doing, it leads them to robust storytelling traditions from many non-Western cultures. Meanwhile, contributors’ postmodern strategies, lucidly developed, offer provocative ways to appreciate familiar Western tales.

– Bill Ellis, professor emeritus of English and American studies, Penn State University

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Monday, June 15, 2020

Bargain Ebook: A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna



A Spark of White Fire (Celestial Trilogy Book 1) by Sangu Mandanna is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. This draws inspiration from India folklore as described below.

Book description:

Named one of the best 25 space opera books by BookRiot!

The first book in a scifi retelling of the Mahabrahata. When Esmae wins a contest of skill, she sets off events that trigger an inevitable and unwinnable war that pits her against the family she would give anything to return to.

In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.

Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.

It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.

Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.

SurLaLune's Small Print:

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Bargain Ebook: Thorn by Intisar Khanani



Thorn (Dauntless Path Book 1) by Intisar Khanani is on sale in ebook format for $2.99. This book is particularly exciting since it is a retelling of The Goose Girl which doesn't get retold often enough IMHO.

Book description:

Hunted meets The Wrath and the Dawn in this bold fairytale retelling—where court intrigue, false identities, and dark secrets will thrill fans of classic and contemporary fantasy alike.

Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life, but when her mother betroths her to a powerful prince in a distant kingdom, she has little hope for a better future.

Until Alyrra arrives at her new kingdom, where a mysterious sorceress robs her of both her identity and her role as princess—and Alyrra seizes on the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But as Alyrra uncovers dangerous secrets about her new world, including a threat to the prince himself, she knows she can’t remain silent forever. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds, and ultimately must decide who she is and what she stands for.

Originally self-published as an ebook and now brought to life with completely revised text, Thorn also features an additional short story set in-world, The Bone Knife.

SurLaLune's Small Print:

As an Amazon Associate, the SurLaLune Fairy Tale site earns a percentage from qualifying purchases as a referral incentive which helps support the site. Your cost does not increase by using the links on this site. Read SurLaLune's Privacy Policy here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Two of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicle Books on Sale TODAY ONLY



Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles Book 2) and Cress (The Lunar Chronicles Book 3) by Marissa Meyer are on sale today only for $2.99 each. They are usually in the $7-8 range.

Description for Scarlet:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

An NPR Best Book of 2013

Description for Cress:

In this third book in Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she's being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she's just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she'd ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

SurLaLune's Small Print:

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Monday, May 18, 2020

SurLaLune New Site Under Switch Over

Hi All,

Just a heads up that an abundance of bad links on the old site to NSFW and thus not safe for me has precipitated an early switch over from the old SurLaLune site to the old one.

The site will site be at surlalunefairytales.com but it will be quite different and all old links will be broken on Wikipedia, etc. It was a necessary event to move to a new and hopefully improved site!

The new site is in the process of propagating or switching over. There will be some broken links for a time, too.

The site email address is changing, too, to fairytales at surlalunefairytales dot com.

So lots of changes. And they will take a while but school is now over or nearly over for most visitors.

Thanks and I'll be in touch soon!

Heidi